Looking for ways to improve my memory (books, games, exercises, diet)
What is the best way to improve my memory, games? diet? exercise, therapy? or other? medication?
Doug's Reply. Asking what the best way is to improve your memory is like asking which tool in the tool box in your garage is the best. It depends on the job at hand.
A hammer is not the best tool if you need to cut a board. And a saw is not the tool of choice if your goal is to drive a nail.
The same with memory. If you want to remember people's names, learn the Face-Name memory system. If you want to memorize lists of items, learn the Peg System. If you want to memorize the facts in a book, learn the visualization-association memory technique. And so on.
Having said that, it does make sense to do what you can to improve the health of your body and brain. Taking the tool analogy a bit further, your brain is like your workshop; you may have the best set of tools, but if your workshop is a dark, disorganized mess it is harder to get projects done.
That's why I advocate a two-pronged approach to memory improvement. Half your effort should be focused on learning and using memory techniques, and the other half on improving the efficiency of your brain.
- Memory Techniques. Use methods such as the Peg System, Link System, Keyword Method, Journey Systems, etc. to remember specific information.
- Brain Health. Improve your diet, get more restful sleep, practice mindfulness meditation, exercise aerobically, etc. to improve the circulation to your brain, provide nutrients, consolidate memories, grow neurons, etc.
Some people want a "magic pill" that will give them a great memory. There is no such thing, and memory improvement requires a lot more effort than popping a pill.
The secret to a much better memory is cleaning up and organizing your workshop (so to speak), then selecting the right tools for whatever job you need your brain to do.
That's the purpose of my website. To provide tools, techniques, and knowledge that you can use to get your mental house in order.
Click the buttons along the left side of my site for details. You'll find explanations, recommendations, and discussions for everything from memory systems to study skills to which memory books are best. And, of course, over 100 free brain games in the brain games training section.
Does improving your memory sound like a lot of work? Well, it is. But nothing in life that is worth having comes cheap; and you always get what you pay for. Are you willing to pay the price for a better memory?
The improvement in my own memory has been well worth the time I've invested over the years. If you think about it, your memories and the body of knowledge you've accumulated (that you can recall) are your only true possessions.
It's a shame more people do not make at least some effort to maximize what they are able to retain. Fortunately, you seem to be one of those who recognize the importance of a powerful memory, and I hope you will follow through.
If you need clarification of anything you find on this site, don't hesitate to ask.
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